Bishop Takes Crown in Silverstone Qualifying
F3 Cup’s annual visit to the short but challenging Silverstone National circuit kicked off this morning with a nail-biting qualifying session.
Under sunny skies, the grid headed out onto the track this morning. Sadly reigning champion Jacopo Sebastiani was forced to withdraw from the weekend at the last moment, but the championship is pleased to welcome back Mark Harrison with Team Fox Racing, and newcomer Darragh Daly from Ireland.
Shane Kelly lead the field early on, but with ideal conditions and a relatively short lap it wasn’t long before the times began to tumble and the order started to jump around. CF Racing’s Stuart Wiltshire was next to top the times, with the improving Daly up to second ahead of Kelly and Chris Dittmann Racing’s Cian Carey.
Tony Bishop showed rapid improvement, initially moving up to second place before Carey displaced him, taking the top spot soon after. Within seconds however, Bishop crossed the line behind him and went quicker still to steal the pole spot.
With two minutes remaining, the majority of the cars collected in one pack which made faster times difficult. Nonetheless, a few managed to cross the line in the seconds before the chequered flag flew, allowing them the chance to put in one final flying lap.
Kelly took full advantage, pipping Carey to second place on his last lap, but ultimately it was Bishop who held onto the top spot, and thus pole position for the first race of the weekend. Carey lines up fourth ahead of current championship leader Wiltshire, with Daly, Patrick Jeans, Baptiste Leonard, Mark Harrison, George Line, Phillip Jeans, Dave Gillette, Roberto Tirone and James Simons completing the grid.
The gaps between the front rows were incredibly close, with first and second separated by 0.018s, second and third by 0.033s, and third and fourth by 0.029s.
F3 Cup’s first race of the weekend is scheduled for 17:40 today (23 June) – head to www.f3cup.co.uk/LIVE for live timing and updates.